Yakhal' Inkomo (Limited Half-Speed Master)
Mr Bongo Records
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A real treasure from the South African scene of the 60s – and the kind of record that we thought wasn't being made until the following decade!
Tenorist Winston Mankunku Ngozi rivals the genius of Coltrane and Wayne Shorter here – both artists to whom he dedicates a key track on the album – and the record's hardly just a South African jazz effort, as it's got this long-flowing spiritual energy that rivals some of the best American work on Impulse or Blue Note at the time – but, like the best of those records, never does so in any sort of slavish way at all!
Instead, Ngozi really finds his own voice here – blowing tenor with a great amount of depth, in a quartet that often hits these modal currents that work great with his horn – a lineup that features Lionel Pillay on piano, Agrippa Magwaza on bass, and Early Mabuza on drums. Incredibly hip and soulful, no matter what the origin – and titles include "Yakhal Inkomo", "Dedication", "Doodlin", and "Bessie's Blues".
Recorded on 23 July, 1968 in the Johannesburg Studios of Manley Van Niekerk